Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Pasco couple recalls previous encounter with movie theater shooter

WESLEY CHAPEL — Michael and Jamira Dixon stood in front of their house under glaring television camera lights Wednesday night and went over their story one more time.

Yes, they had a previous encounter in a movie theater with the man accused of killing another over texting and flying popcorn. Yes, they were sure it was him. No doubts.

"I told myself, 'I have to remember what his face looked like,' " Jamira Dixon, 33, said, "just in case I have to tell someone."

She would.

Three days ago, Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, became the most recognizable ex-Tampa cop in the country for pulling out his .380 in a movie theater and, according to reports, firing it at a man named Chad Oulson after a dispute over texting. Oulson was killed.

The day after, Reeves made his first appearance in court. The prosecutor, while arguing that Reeves should not be granted bail, named Jamira Dixon as someone who had a previous confrontation with Reeves in the same movie theater complex.

When Jamira Dixon returned home from work that night, reporters were camped outside her house. She and her husband told their story, adding to a tragic narrative that has gained worldwide attention.

On Wednesday, more reporters, including national media, wanted to interview the Dixons.

By the time Jamira Dixon got home from work Wednesday night, the couple wasn't sure they wanted to tell the story again. It was too much, Jamira Dixon said. Inside her house, CNN waited. Outside, news trucks idled.

Fine, she finally said. She'd do it, but only to everyone at once:

It was Dec. 28, and the Dixons, their three children and a niece went to see a matinee showing of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

She had her phone on silent to text, but the light bothered Reeves, who sat nearby. Reeves went to get an usher, and the usher told Jamira Dixon to put her phone away.

Her 9-year-old son was shifting in the chair, and that bothered Reeves, too. In fact, everything seemed to bother him. Dixon said he kept glaring at her, and at one point he even followed her to the restroom. He told a man in front of him to put his phone away as well. She felt like he was trying to be the "referee of the movie theater."

At one point, he pointed at the family while talking to the usher.

"I think he wanted us to know it was him reporting us," she said.

After the movie, he sat at a table in the lobby and kept staring. His wife came up to hold his hand on the way out, Jamira Dixon said, and Reeves pushed her away.

Jamira Dixon didn't report the incident to the theater, but with all the staring Reeves did, she said his face stayed with her.

"It was disgusting the way he acted," said Michael Dixon, 38. "It's like he was looking to start a confrontation."

After learning of the shooting, Jamira Dixon called authorities to report the previous incident.

"That could've been us," she said.

Detectives came to get the Dixon's statement on Tuesday night, and returned on Wednesday.

With all the attention, Jamira Dixon said she can't focus on work. She can't sleep.

She didn't come forward to be in the spotlight. She only wanted the world to know what kind of man she saw in the movie theater that day, she said.

The Dixons say they feel terrible for Oulson's family.

"I can't imagine what they're going through," Michael Dixon said. "Losing a father and a husband like that."

   
Comments
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Updated: 4 hours ago
FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

A Clearwater man who authorities said sideswiped a car while driving more than 100 miles per hour the wrong way on U.S. 41 was arrested Friday. Wendel Jamel James, 35, is charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving and leaving the scene ...
Published: 06/23/18
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Published: 06/22/18
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Published: 06/22/18
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Published: 06/22/18
Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Georgia detectives on Friday recovered the body of Mitzi Marie Babb, a 43-year-old Hernando park ranger who had been missing since Tuesday.Her boyfriend, arrested Thursday on unrelated charges, has been called a person of interest in her disappearanc...
Published: 06/22/18
A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

PORT RICHEY — A 41-year-old Uber driver was arrested Friday after police said he pointed a firearm at another driver because he was annoyed that she was texting and driving.Philip Macchio was driving near State Road 52 and U.S. 19 around 12:30 a.m. F...
Published: 06/22/18
Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership. Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, o...
Published: 06/21/18
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Published: 06/21/18